“Regulators Vote to Shut Down Nation’s Largest For-Profit Accrediting Agency”

The vote came after widespread criticism that the agency had provided inadequate oversight. 

ACICS logoSome good news for a change. “Inadequate oversight” is one way of  putting it.  This organization, which was entrusted with the sacred task of accrediting postsecondary institutions, abdicated its responsibility in a number of cases, pure and simple.  Why is the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS), the largest for-profit accreditor in the US, going the way of the dinosaur?  Because someone with power, someone in an official capacity, was finally on to them.  How?  Because of the outstanding work of two investigative reporters from BuzzFeed.  (See the two articles below.)  I’ve been writing about bottom feeder nationally accredited institutions and the lack of oversight for years but I was just a lone voice in the higher education wilderness.

Making The Grades
How one California university faked students’ scores, skated by immigration authorities — and made a fortune in the process. (5/16)

These Obscure Colleges Sign Up Thousands Of Foreign Students With Little Oversight
The little-known Northwestern Polytechnic University now enrolls more international students than almost any other U.S. college. (1/16)

Regulators Vote to Shut Down Nation’s Largest For-Profit Accrediting Agency

In a huge victory for opponents of for-profit schools, a federal panel voted Thursday to shut down the largest accrediting agency of private sector colleges and universities amid intense criticism in recent years for loose oversight of educational institutions.

The 10-3 decision, handed down Thursday by the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, effectively eliminates access to federal financial aid to hundreds of schools accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools that enroll nearly 800,000 students.

To read the article in its entirety, feast your eyes here.

Perhaps there will be some future posts about the ripple effect of this historic vote to shut down ACICS, including the impact on entities that represent “officially accredited” US colleges and universities, i.e., EducationUSA, and those that allow their certified agents to work with these institutions, e.g., the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC). Stay tuned!

I won’t say “I told you so” just a heartfelt and hearty “Farewell, ACICS!”  Many of us in the know won’t miss you.  It’s high time for whatever replaces you and many of your accredited institutions to take their game to the next level, or become irrelevant.


3 thoughts on ““Regulators Vote to Shut Down Nation’s Largest For-Profit Accrediting Agency”

  1. Wow — with everything else going on in international news over the past few days–France, Turkey, etc.–this never even came up on my radar. Thanks for sharing. This is a big deal and, assuming it goes through, will affect a lot of people.

  2. Are you paying attention (I know the answer is probably no, because one individual can only do X amount) to the ACCJC (Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges) and the blowback from its attack on the City College of San Francisco? We (I am part of the fightback coalition) have managed to get support for unmasking and dis-accrediting this accreditor all the way up to the state legislature and the Dept of Ed. There is a parallel revolt going on here, with some essential differences. The closure of CCSF would have fed students into local for-profits; in this sense, ACCJC was acting as an agent of investors in for-profits. I’m just suggesting that there is something in the air.

    • Thanks for your comment. I have read about this. Yes, the main problem is that no one is minding the store. The only reason anything was done about NPU and ACICS is that a US senator got involved because of the good work of a couple of BuzzFeed investigative reporters. For many it’s all about “showing me the money”.


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